Tas­man count bro­ken bod­ies

Sunday Star-Times - - Sport - RICHARD KNOWLER

A gloomy Leon MacDonald sur­veyed his Tas­man play­ers in the wake of their 35-13 loss to Can­ter­bury and saw more than dis­ap­point­ment etched on their faces.

For Tas­man for­wards, Jor­dan Tau­fua, Tyrel Lo­max and Tom Hill, the de­feat in the Mitre 10 Cup premier­ship fi­nal at AMI Sta­dium in Christchurch last night night also proved to be a painful ex­pe­ri­ence.

No 8 Tau­fua had to be re­placed in the 41st minute af­ter suf­fer­ing what could be a bro­ken arm, and tight­head prop Tyrel Lo­max left the field with a sus­pected dis­lo­cated shoul­der.

Re­place­ment prop Hill was also knocked out, and there was no re­quire­ment to com­plete a head in­jury as­sess­ment be­cause it was clear that he was un­fit to re­turn for duty.

Tas­man coach MacDonald said it was too early to of­fer a de­tailed as­sess­ment of the in­juries. The early mail on Tau­fua, though, was not en­cour­ag­ing.

‘‘There are a few con­cus­sions and Jordie’s arm doesn’t look too flash. It might be a bro­ken arm,’’ MacDonald said.

‘‘There are a few in the ca­su­alty ward. It was a tor­rid en­counter. The break­downs were well con­tested and there was a lot of vigour in the tack­les as well, so it was prob­a­bly not sur­pris­ing.’’

If Tau­fua has bro­ken his arm, it isn’t great news for the Cru­saders and their coach Scott Robert­son be­cause, de­pend­ing on the ex­tent of the dam­age, that is likely to im­pact on his pre-sea­son prepa­ra­tions for next year’s Su­per Rugby ti­tle de­fence.

De­spite in­jur­ing his arm in the first half, Tau­fua re­fused to buckle and kept play­ing for as long as pos­si­ble be­fore be­ing or­dered to exit the ac­tion.

‘‘He would live and die out there for the team, the prov­ince,’’ Tas­man cap­tain Alex Ain­ley said in ref­er­ence to Tau­fua.

‘‘And he had to be dragged off the field. That was what hap­pened in the end, when the doc­tor pulled him off the park. I don’t think it was his say.’’

Dom­i­nat­ing col­li­sions and the break­downs gave Can­ter­bury a big edge in the phys­i­cal con­tests and Tas­man didn’t help them­selves by los­ing three li­ne­outs.

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